Transform Community Development has been at the forefront of developing the housing first programme in Dundee. We led the pathfinder programme with other local organisations. The pathfinder supported Scotland’s plan to end homelessness focusing on ordinary, settled housing as quickly as possible, with Housing First the default for people whose homelessness is made harder by experiences with trauma, addictions, or mental ill-health.
The 3-year Pathfinder (2019-22) worked to make Housing First a reality on a much bigger scale than had previously been known. It worked in a new and collaborative way across sectors to understand and establish the relationships, structures and processes needed – and to act as the catalyst to branch out Housing First right across Scotland.
Following the conclusion of the Pathfinder, Transform Community Development has worked in partnership with Dundee Health & Social Care Partnership and Dundee City Council to mainstream and develop the service in line with the local Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan.
We are on track to scale up the service and support up to 100 participants on the programme using the internationally recognised and evaluated fidelities.
People have a right to a home. ...
Flexible support is provided for as long as it is needed. ...
Housing and support are separated. ...
People have choice and control. ...
An active engagement approach is used. ...
The service is based on people's strengths, goals and aspirations.
A harm reduction approach is used
The Pathfinder was catalysed by Social Bite and Scottish Government who were also the primary funders in years 1 and 2. Year 3 was jointly funded by Scottish Government and local authorities.
Transform Community Development operate on a liberated method of support, there is no wrong door.
Housing First does not require people experiencing homelessness to address the all of their problems including behavioural health problems, or to graduate through a series of services programs before they can access housing. Housing First does not mandate participation in services either before obtaining housing or in order to retain housing. The Housing First approach views housing as the foundation for life improvement and enables access to permanent housing without prerequisites or conditions beyond those of a typical renter. Supportive services are offered to support people with housing stability and individual well-being, but participation is not required as services have been found to be more effective when a person chooses to engage. Other approaches do make such requirements in order for a person to obtain and retain housing.
Housing First is for homeless people who have complex needs. As outlined above, the evidence shows that there are extremely strong housing sustainment rates for this group. Defining Housing First participants They are people who are currently homeless and
have complex or multiple support needs: This includes a combination of some history of mental health issues, substance misuse and offending behaviour.
Yes! Scotlands Housing First Pathfinder programme ran for three years from April 2019 and provided independent tenancies and support for 579 individuals across five areas: Aberdeen/Aberdeenshire, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Stirling. It served as a litmus test regarding the opportunities and challenges involved in scaling up Housing First as it moves toward becoming the default response for homeless people with complex needs across Scotland. Core messages from an independent evaluation, conducted by I-SPHERE in partnership with ICF, have been distilled in a blog by Prof Sarah Johnsen and Dr Janice Blenkinsopp.
Homeless Network Scotland
Key Messages from Scotland’s Housing First Pathfinder Evaluation